U-M Sets the Bar for Washington (Part 2)

In part two of GoBlueWolverine's interview with Timberland High coach Art Craig about Quinton Washington's recent visit to Michigan, he sheds light on the most significant factors in the talented youngster's choice, the role distance will play, his decision timetable, where the Wolverines currently stand in the race, and more. (Part 2/2)

For those that missed part one of the interview, click here.

Sam Webb:  What are the most significant factors in Quinton's choice?  Forget about that questioning as it relates to any particular school.  What are the things that are going to make him settle on any school over all the rest?

Art Craig:  "I think the one thing, and I think the thing that he was impressed most with at Michigan was the help and the resources that you are going to have in order to make it from an academic standpoint.  I think that is very important to him.  He does value his education and he knows that at some point football won't be there.  Something could happen, he could get injured or something.  I think that is a point.  I think for him, another important thing is to have are coaches that are genuine… coaches that are just not saying that you are  a piece of meat to them… that are going to care a little about you.  It looked like to me that the thing that we both were impressed with was before the game you go in that game and you've got every coach with his wife…with his family.  The coaches tried to introduced their families, but they couldn't find some of the kids because the kids are on the field playing flag football before the game.  I think Quinton was very impressed with the closeness and the unity of the staff and how down to earth they were.  It just didn't seem to me that it was fake.  I have been to places where you knew right up front.  With those kids of guys it's, ‘are you the best player to play for us? Let's go.'  Not anything about you.  People at Michigan asked me about my family. ‘I hear you got three boys.'  They asked Quinton about his mom, his dad… how is this, how is that.  I think for him quality of education, which obviously Michigan is going to rank up there for that… the coaching staff, are they for real? I think Coach Rodriguez and his staff of pushing that point over.  Coach Frey, I think was great.  The DB coach Tony Gibson was unbelievable.  He was unbelievable.  The recruiting coordinator was great too.  I think for Michigan, being first was great.  I am going to have schools that are going to have a lot of stuff to live up to.  I don't know if anyone can do that or not.  I think honestly, I think Michigan has got just a good a chance as anybody else right now does.  Going into it, I thought there would be less than a 50% chance that he would leave the state.  Right now I am not sure that that is not going to happen if other people can't impress him a little bit."

Sam Webb:  Two questions related to that.  How big a factor is distance from home going to be for him and then what other schools is he going to visit?

Art Craig:  "Obviously distance is a factor, but I think Coach Gibson's wife, I think when I saw her…I think (Coach Gibson and his wife) sort of made him understand that, ‘look, there are going to be some times when you're not going to be able to go home, but we going to be here for you to make sure that you are not by yourself.'  He has got mom and dad at home so the fact that they would be limited to how many time they could see him play, I think would be a part of it.  But also I explained to Quinton, five years from now, mom and dad are not going to be with you and you need to choose a school that is going to help you for the rest of your life.  Whether it is South Carolina, whether it is Clemson, whether it is Michigan… those three schools I think are going to be involved.  Alabama, Miami and Tennessee, I think those are your top ones right there.  Distance could be a factor, but I think they (at Michigan) were doing a pretty good job of making him understand that, ‘we are going to help you out and we are going to make you feel like a family here.'"

Sam Webb:  Is Quinton going to play in any all star games this winter?

Art Craig:  "He is already committed to the Under Armour game."

Sam Webb:  Do you think that Quinton will have his decision made by then, or might it be something he announces at that game?

Art Craig:  "I don't think he is going to make an announcement until after he visits all his schools.  I think he is going to make it later.  I think he is putting a lot of time into this.  He understands the importance of it and I think that it is not just a wham, bam, thank you ma'am type thing.  I think everything is going to put it in perspective.  I felt honored that he is allowing me to not to tell him where to go, but to allow me to try and make sure he keeps everything in perspective.  For me, like I told him, I don't care where he goes, because in five years or six years, he is the one that is going o be paying the bills.  It is going to be his life that he starts.  Hopefully he will make a good choice and we'll go from there."

Sam Webb:  This is the last question.  Now that you're home and Quinton has had a chance to reflect on his visit, what is he saying about the experience now?

Art Craig:  "I asked him, what do you think?  I said, ‘are they in there?'  He said, ‘coach there is no way they can't be there'.  He said, ‘that was as much fun as I have had at any time, anything I have done'.  I said, ‘well that is what you need to look at then'.  That is when I knew that Michigan is definitely in the mix with things.  Quinton doesn't say a whole lot, so when he does speak, you have to pretty much take it for as it is.  When I ask him, what do you think?  He is, ‘like coach they are definitely in there.'  He told me, ‘I have to rethink some of the things that I had thought about because of what I saw about up here this weekend.'  Now that doesn't mean that he is going to commit, but that what made me know that Michigan is definitely in the mix."

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